The following obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh
Sun-Telegraph of Sept. 16, 1958: A GREAT POET died last week
in Lancieux, France, at the age of 84.
He was not a poet's poet. Fancy-Dan dilettantes will dispute
the description "great." He was a people's poet. To the
people he was great. They understood him, and knew that any
verse carrying the by-line of Robert W. Service would be a
lilting thing, clear, clean and power-packed, beating out a
story with a dramatic intensity that made the nerves tingle.
And he was no poor, garret-type poet, either. His stuff made
money hand over fist. One piece alone, The Shooting of Dan
McGrew, rolled up half a million dollars for him. He lived
it up well and also gave a great deal to help others.
"The only society I like," he once said, "is that which is
rough and tough - and the tougher the better. That's where
you get down to bedrock and meet human people." He found
that kind of society in the Yukon gold rush, and he
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